Happy New Year! Thanks for joining me for another year of writing tips, encouragement, and – of course – author interviews! Today I’m happy to introduce you to Kirsten Terrette, a fellow writer of contemporary romance.
Hi, and thanks for your willingness to appear on my blog! Let’s start with what genre do you write? How did you pick it?
Thanks for having me! I write Christian Contemporary Romance and Young Adult fiction. I guess I’ve picked these genres because they are ones I read. I LOVE a good LOVE story!
As I got older and more mature in my faith, I realized some of the “love” stories I was reading were really trashy romances. I sought out to find stories that honored God, and I found some great authors to read. My writing was a natural progression of this. I wanted to honor the stories and characters God had placed in my mind, and I wanted my writing to draw readers closer to Him, not further away.
How long did it take you complete your first manuscript (published or not)?
Oh, goodness… It takes me about six months to write a story, but longer than that to really get it edited and polished. My first novel was written and published in almost exactly a year, however I had written a manuscript before that one which was put on the back burner. All in all, a year is a pretty accurate time frame for me.
Have your follow-up novels been easier or harder to write? Why do you think that is?
Easier. My understanding of plot and conflict grows with each one, and I’m finding I have to edit the story content less and less each time. I’ve also learned (am still learning!) how to develop the characters without throwing too much backstory at the reader in one sitting. I think knowing the flow is key for me.
What’s surprised you the most about the book-publishing process?
Waiting. I had read over and over that the publishing world moves at a snail’s pace. This is true. Everything seems to happen slowly, so you have to have patience. You also must trust in God. If He’s put you on this journey, He will complete it. You have to believe and wait for Him to act.
What’s been the most challenging part of getting a book published?
Having discernment. What some love about your style, story, or characters, others will hate. You can be criticized in one review over something, and in the very next one, be praised with how you handled the same topic. I have learned to step away and pray. I ask God to show me the truth of any comments, critiques, or edits. I count on Him to show me the areas which need growth, and where or who I need to listen to concerning something I write.
What’s your favorite part of the publishing experience?
Seeing the good reviews online, and having friends or church members come up and tell me how they love one of my stories! Every single time this happens it’s literally a dream come true.
For learning the writing craft, which do you prefer – books or conferences? Why?
Honestly, I prefer blogs. And I have a few amazing editors in my life who have helped me tremendously. A critique coming from someone who you know is for you and wants you to succeed is easy to learn from.
If you could recommend one writing conference, what would it be? Why? (If you haven’t attended one, which one would you like to attend? Why?)
I have only attended a few in my area (Atlanta), but I would love to attend the American Christian Fiction Writer’s conference! Being truthful here, the main reason is likely because I’d become a fangirl about seeing or meeting my favorite authors. 🙂
If you could recommend one writing book, what would it be? Why?
I really like Janie Hardy’s Planning Your Novel: Ideas and Structure. She covers everything! Her Fiction University website is great too.
If you could pick any of your novels to be made into a movie, which one would you pick? Who would you want to play the lead roles, and why?
Safe Harbor, Moanna Island Book One. It’s such a great story of returning to Jesus and allowing Him to heal you and bring beauty out of tragedy. I’ve been asked who should play the hero and heroine in this story before, and I’ve gotta stick with these two because they’d draw a crowd for sure! Jason Momoa (yes, the guy who plays Aquaman) for the hero. Rachel Bilson for the heroine. 🙂
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Three and a half years ago, I never would have believed I would call myself an author. It seemed too far out of reach, and who was I to be granted such a lofty dream? But, God is good, and He has shown me His love over and over. He always keeps His promises, and if we follow after Him like a lovesick puppy, He will “do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20, NIV), all to His glory.
Kristen has a Master’s degree in Theological Studies and was on staff as a Children’s Ministry Director for over five years. She cherishes her Southern roots and currently lives forty-five minutes outside of Atlanta, GA. With the support of her husband and two children, she stays at home writing Christian fiction, making up fantasy places and characters, allowing God to take the story where He needs it to go. She serves on the women’s leadership and teaching team at her church, and writes for Wholly Loved ministries at WhollyLoved.com, as well as Crosswalk.com. To see her blog and current novels, check out her website at www.kristenterrette.com.
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Addictions destroy lives. Chad Cusher’s own dependencies change everything he thought he knew about his future.
After almost killing himself and someone else, Chad’s legal problems, addiction recovery therapy, and physical therapy if he ever wants to walk normally again, are a part of his everyday life. He believes there is no chance at true happiness, certainly not love, and only hopes to become a better man than he was, to find redemption somehow.
Chad moves to Moanna Island, a small island close to Savannah off the Atlantic coast, to begin a job with his family’s real estate empire, a job he was supposed to have taken years ago.
Free-spirited Ryan Mason is a Moanna local girl from a blue-collar family. She’s dropped her own dreams to help her father care for her schizophrenic brother.
Their paths first cross at a Rehabilitation Center where Chad attends therapy and Ryan’s brother lives. Chad can’t believe his luck when he finds her on Moanna Island, forty-five minutes away from the Center, only days later.
Chad is drawn to Ryan’s joy, even through the pain and grief life tries to throw her way. His lonely void begins to dissipate with every island adventure spent with her. He soon finds out what her secret is. But is it possible to start over and be restored? Even so, can Ryan except Chad’s horrible, even criminal past? Can their crazy worlds ever fit together once she finds out he is the sole heir to the Cusher Empire?